Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Big Days

Post-written pre-post addendum: I understand this post is huge. It turned out way bigger than I planned. Apparently, I've got a lot to say. Read on if you've got the time. I promise I won't be offended if you give up halfway through...

--

I've got some big days coming up. Today was my chance to get ahead caught up a little bit, which I have successfully done. Last night was spent reviewing Physiology notes and watching Biochemistry lectures until the wee hours of the morning while most (all?) of my fellow classmates were out partying it up. I don't say this out of self-pity. On the contrary, I get the most revitalization by being able to have some quiet time to myself, doing things at my own pace. I love getting out in groups from time to time, but after the stresses of exam preparation, some solid alone time is fine with me. I wouldn't mind seeing Wife more often, but I think that goes without saying at this point. She would normally have been able to visit me last night, but she is incredibly busy preparing for three exams this week, and her clinical rotation in Grand Rapids was cancelled this week. :(

Today I got up at about 9:00am after a healthy six.five (hey look, that's a new way to do it) hours of sleep, made some coffee, got a bowl of cereal and sat down to stream some lectures. I made it through four hours of lecture in just under three, then made my way to school for a two-hour Clinical Skills class where we reviewed the video of my first patient interview. My fellow classmates did a great job critiquing me, and I think I'll do much better in round two, which comes this Thursday - one of the reasons the next few days are going to be big.

Tomorrow morning, we have the standard four hours of lecture, only this time two of them will be Integrative Clinical Correlations. These are classes where a patient comes in and has their case presented to the case by their physician. The pathology/symptoms experience by the patient always ties in with what we've been learning in class in some way, and those intersections are highlighted by a faculty member throughout the patient presentation. At the end, we are given the opportunity to ask the patient questions related to their experience. There has only been one so far, but it was a really interesting way to see how what we're learning has a real-life application, and thus a slew of real-life consequences to failing to learn it all really well. It's a good way for us to be reminded that there's more to all this studying than just doing well on tests.

Tomorrow afternoon I have two hours of Anatomy Lab, in which we are starting the Head and Neck section - reportedly the most difficult (volume much?) of the year. Our lab is thankfully a prosection-based lab, which means that we don't have to do any of the cutting and sawing ourselves. While I don't mind working with my hands, I think we are actually better able to learn the anatomy by being able to focus just on learning the structures. Plus, there's a dissection elective if you find yourself feeling shortchanged by not being able to do the cutting and pulling-apart yourself.

After lab, I have my first Physician Mentor Meeting. Basically, students are split up into groups of 8-10 or so and assigned a mentor that they stick with for their first two years. I haven't met mine yet, but I've heard he's pretty great. I think we get to shadow him in his practice (not sure what kind of doc he is yet), as well as just discuss a wide variety of topics involved with becoming a doctor. So, that's for an additional two hours tomorrow. That brings Wednesday's total to a whopping 8 hours spent in structured activities, completely outside of the normal 4-8 hours that I usually spend studying on my own.

Thursday just gets a little rougher. Judging from my schedule, I have just shy of ten hours of scheduled activity, including: three hours of lecture, an hour of Biochemistry exam review, a talk on the History of Vaccinations and the Modern Vaccine Debate, a twenty-minute standardized patient interview, a two-hour Histology lab, and a two-hour Round Table meeting in which students meet with faculty to discuss curriculum concerns and plans.

Friday brings three more hours of lecture, an (optional) Biochem help session, an interview (I'm the interviewer!) with an applicant (remember that?), an organized lunch with the Interview Day students, followed by another two-hour Anatomy Lab. Oh, I forgot to mention - it takes a solid 1-2 hours to prelab for each of these labs. Yeah, it's going to be a big couple days...

4 comments:

Chris Meeusen said...

Welcome to medical education. Its just the beginning.

Susan said...

Take a deep breath, put your head down and plow on! Great job!

Joshua said...

Did you ever find out what the deal was with that first exam?

Justin said...

@Josh - nope, they just made the exam twice as hard as last year, apparently. I spoke with a professor about it, and she said that it was unintended. Students just had a much harder time with it this year than last year. It may be worth noting that this was the first year that she wrote the exam... And she's wicked smart with a PhD in Biochem...

The Tags

accomplishment (2) AMCAS (1) anniversary (5) application (17) awesome (23) backpacking (8) bike (8) Biochemistry (13) Birthday (1) books (2) Break (46) bummer (2) camping (5) Christmas (4) crazy (30) Curiosity (10) doctor (7) Emergency Medicine (7) exams (37) Fail (4) fun (56) funny (22) Gear (8) God (2) Grand Rapids (2) grey hair (1) Honeymoon (2) Interview (8) iPad (2) Jintus Study (11) MCAT (14) med school (55) Mental Case (1) Motivation (4) Moving (4) MSU CHM (70) music (1) Naiya (22) Nerves (2) News (3) Nicole (40) Notes Plus (1) personal statement (5) Philosophy (1) photos (34) premed (4) random (25) Resources (9) Review (13) Running (6) Scary (2) Schedule (5) Science (1) Shadowing (6) sick (8) Specialty (4) stress (13) Studying (44) surgery (4) Tech (2) Tired (3) Travel (14) Travis (5) volunteering (3) Wife (26)
HyperSmash